Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

10 Easter Jokes

March 31st, 2014

1. Q: What do Easter Bunny helpers get for making a basket? A: Two points, just like anyone else.

2. Good Idea: Finding Easter eggs on Easter. Bad Idea: Finding Easter eggs on Xmas.

3. Q: How can you find the Easter bunny? A: Eggs (x) marks the spot.

4. Q: How does the Easter bunny paint all the Easter eggs? A: She hires Santa’s elves during off-season.

5. Q: Why was the Easter Bunny so upset? A: He was having a bad hare day! (LOL)

6. What is the difference between a crazy bunny and a counterfeit banknote? One is bad money and the other is a mad bunny!

7. Why did the Easter egg hide? He was a little chicken!

8. Why is a bunny the luckiest animal in the world? It has four rabbits’ feet!

9. What do you call a bunny with a large brain? Egghead!

10. What did the bunny want to do when he grew up? Join the Hare Force.

Jesus Understands

March 28th, 2014

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have piercedZachariah 12:10

Hymn writers have given us the mental image of Jesus hanging on a cross on a hill far away. In fact, the location for executions was just outside the city gate, beside the main road leading into Jerusalem.  Those unlucky enough to be crucified were only raised two to eighteen inches above the ground.  That meant all the dignity, modesty and purity of Jesus’ physical person was stripped away. He, like the others being crucified, was left to die groaning in agony in scorching heat, virtually at eye level with those who passed by on their way to and from the city.

In their rush to get to the temple area in time to purchase a lamb for sacrifice, did the Passover pilgrims even notice the Lamb that God was sacrificing for their sin?  As Jesus poured out His life, yet most people must have passed by without a glance.

Have you noticed what He has done for you this week? In a small way, are you pouring out your life for those who don’t notice?  Jesus understands.

Survivor

March 26th, 2014

A Canadian, an American and a China man are stranded on a deserted island. The Canadian tells the others that he will be in charge of food. American volunteers to be in charge of water and the Chinese man says he will be in charge of supplies. They split up to do their jobs and decide to meet up later.

When the Canadian and the American return, there is no sign of the Chinese man.  Days pass by, but they still can’t find their friend. One day as they are walking along a path, the Chinese man jumps from the bushes and yells “SUPPLIES!”

The Way to Salvation

March 25th, 2014

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Salvation is more than something Jesus did for us on a hill far away on an old wooden cross. Salvation is Jesus living within us.  You may have been born into a Christian family or have attended a Christian church all your life, but if you haven’t prayed the prayer of salvation and told God that you want to receive Jesus as your Savior, you haven’t been born into the kingdom of God.  You can’t inherit salvation. You can’t get it by osmosis, transplant, implant or wish upon a star for it.

You have to declare your faith in Jesus Christ. Talk to Jesus as you would to a good friend, and confess you’ve made some mistakes.  Tell Him you can’t live without Him.  Ask Him to forgive you, fill you with His spirit,  and come into your heart.  Tell Him you receive Him as Lord, and thank Him for His unlimited grace that never leaves you, for eternal life and forgiveness that transforms.

Amen

 

Tales of Hoffman

March 23rd, 2014

Last night I attended my first live opera. Not only did I attend the Tales of Hoffman, I was invited to join Mike Paschkes, who had performed this opera on stage at the New York Met. This made my evening a special experience.

In my research about Hoffman, I learned that he never wrote a straightforward story. Instead, he wrote tales, novellas, and fragments that always leave the reader wondering. Hoffmann mixed letters, diary entries, fictional newspaper articles, overheard snatches of dialogue, and vague accounts of dreams with stories told by lunatics and fools. This opera achieved that effect.

The Tales of Hoffman tale is an epic romance, a comedy, a drama and adventure rolled into a few musical hours. Along the melodious journey you learn about Hoffman’s character as you root for him. He’s a poet, traveler and ultimate underdog hopelessly unlucky in love.

The opera, originally written in 1881, is loosely based on the real life of Hoffman. It’s divided into three of those compelling stories of Hoffman’s quest for the perfect girl, but it naturally never works out. The sumptuous music played by a live orchestra coupled with that fantastic story was enough to stir the soul. (and even keep me up past 9pm)

I’m happy I accepted the generous invitation to attend Tales of Hoffman and take his journey of flawing in love. Anyone who thinks they have no interest in opera should try this one.

 

 

Bubba Joke

March 22nd, 2014

Bubba and Earl were sitting in a car on a back road drinking moonshine. All at once there was a tapping on the window.

“Bubba I think there is a ghost tapping on the window!”Sure enough a wizened face with long flowing white hair was there just out side the window.

Bubba shoved his foot down on the gas and immediately was doing 60 miles and hour. “Step on it!” “He’s still out there!” Earl shouted

And sure enough, there was another tapping at the window. Bubba shoved his foot to the floor again! This time he was doing ninety (90) miles an hour. Still the ghostly figure tapped on the window.

“You better giver ‘er some more gas!” Earl yelled, “He’s still out there.”

“I can’t go any faster Earl, I’ve got her up to 120 miles an hour.

About that time the little old man motioned for the Earl to roll the window down, which he did.

“Say Boys!” “I was wanting to know, do you need a shove to get out of this mud hole?”

Spring Has Sprung!

March 20th, 2014

Do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

It doesn’t matter what part of the country north of the Mason Dixie line you lived this winter, it’s was cold. For most temperatures dipped around freezing for months and you’re eagerly anticipating the first day of spring! You may be someone that tries very hard to be upbeat all winter, however find yourself grumbling while waiting for the first day of Spring. Staying positive during dreary days is difficult for many. Gray skies, cold air, wind, and short days can be depressing.

On the other hand, when sunshine peaks through the clouds and warm breezes penetrates our skin, our mood changes immediately. Why do we love Spring so much that we anxiously count down winter days? For me it’s because I like new life. I can’t help but open my eyes with a smile on my lips when birds are singing songs to announce a new day outside my window. The smell of fresh wet dirt just after a good rain causes me to breathe life back into my wilting soul.

For God, every day is Spring! I know it’s a real effort in the face of scraping the car to drive to work on a cold, winter day, but every day can be Spring for us, too.

Winter’s cold is drawing to a close for now. (YEAH!!) However, you know it’ll return all too soon. But it doesn’t matter if you are prepared to celebrate new life every day of the year. Maybe you don’t feel like spring, but instead you’re stuck in winter. Even though winter’s soil is hard and frozen, allow your heart to be touched by God’s Spring. Then go forth and cast the seeds that are able to come to life even in the darkest of times.

How? Praise God everyday with songs that tell of His love and new life. Share the good news daily, either through good deeds or saving words. Or make it a priority to be intentionally renewed every day.

And rejoice, Spring has sprung!

The Grand Budapest Hotel

March 18th, 2014

Last night I attended the advanced screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Another very quirky Wes Anderson movie, this movie recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune set against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing world.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is definitely a Wes Anderson film, down to its very core. If you know Wes’ work from “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Royal Tenanbaums”, then you know what style of filming and humor to expect as he creates his universe on screen. This movie’s full of colorful characters, old-world charm and witty one-liners and the color palette is beautiful. It’s refreshing to see use of bright colors when so many other films are so dark and dreary right now. The set design and costumes are perfectly thought out with attention to every detail.

The twisting tale of deceit and murder is merely a vehicle for the visuals, dark humor and rapid-fire dialogue. It’s all about a hotel concierge, Gustave H., who is being chased by various villains for stealing a painting. All this is set against the backdrop of the Nazis invading Central Europe (although they’re not called Nazis). Some of the scenes are very funny, but there is always a darker tone because of the looming war. WARNING: Grand Budapest Hotel doesn’t shy away from extreme violence, but he shows it in an offbeat and almost comical manner.

Ralph Fiennes steals the show as the sophisticated Gustave H., who never despairs, even in the most unfavorable circumstances. I’ve been a fan of most of Ralph Fiennes’ work since his phenomenal performance in 1993′s “Schindler’s List”, but this is easily his best performance since then. He proves he can do comedy just as well as he does drama. Newcomer Tony Revolori as Zero is excellent as well. I won’t get into the whole supporting cast because there’s so many who were all so great, but I was particularly impressed by Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law and Saoirse Ronan.

I recommend Grand Budapest Hotel if you enjoyed Wes Anderson’s previous movies. If you like his offbeat style you’ll love this fantastical addition to his film collection. However, if you’re not familiar with his style I don’t recommend you start with this one. Rated R for language and violence.

 

50 Irish Sayings For St. Patrick’s Day

March 17th, 2014

1. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

2. If you want praise, die. If you want blame, marry.

3. Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one!

4. If you’re enough lucky to be Irish… You’re lucky enough!

5. May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.

6. A man may live after losing his life but not after losing his honour.

7. “All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.” – Sean O’Casey

8. You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was.

9. It is often that a person’s mouth broke his nose.

10. It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money!

11. May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!

12. May neighbours respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and Heaven accept you.

13. It’s easy to half the potato where there’s love.

14. “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” -Oscar Wilde

15. Here’s to me, and here’s to you. And here’s to love and laughter. I’ll be true as long as you. And not one moment after.

16. May you live to be 100 years, with one extra year to repent.

17. “There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.” -Brendan Behan

18. May you die in bed at 95, shot by a jealous spouse.

19. Here’s to women’s kisses, and to whiskey, amber clear. Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss, but a darn sight more sincere!

20. There are only two kinds of people in the world, the Irish and those who wish they were.

21. Where the tongue slips, it speaks the truth.

22. May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks. May your heart be as light as a song. May each day bring you bright, happy hours that stay with you all the year long.

23. A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.

24. May the roof above you never fall in, and those gathered beneath it never fall out.

25. If it’s drowning you’re after, don’t torment yourself with shallow water.

26. May misfortune follow you the rest of your life, and never catch up.

27. Lose an hour in the morning and you’ll be looking for it all day.

28. Honey is sweet, but don’t lick it off a briar.

29. The older the fiddle the sweeter the tune.

30. Better be sparing at first than at last.

31. If you buy what you don’t need you might have to sell what you do.

32. Better good manners than good looks.

33. It is more difficult to maintain honour than to become prosperous.

34. Forgetting a debt doesn’t mean it’s paid.

35. Better the trouble that follows death than the trouble that follows shame.

36. If you come up in this world be sure not to go down in the next.

37. Lie down with dogs and you’ll rise with fleas.

38. You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind.

39. Pity him who makes an opinion a certainty.

40. “A life making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing at all.” – George Bernard Shaw

41. Seeing is believing, but feeling is the God’s own truth.

42. You must take the little potato with the big potato.

43. May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends. And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

44. May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.

45. May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

46. May your heart be light and happy, may your smile be big and wide, and may your pockets always have a coin or two inside!

47. “There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde

48. Who keeps his tongue keeps his friends.

49. May you have food and raiment, a soft pillow for your head. May you be forty years in heaven before the devil knows you’re dead.

50. May you get all your wishes but one, so that you will always have something to strive for!

Finding Restoration At The Cross

March 15th, 2014

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

All of us have been in a situation, aware of offending someone else in thought, word, or deed. I’ve struggled with this sin during the past week. Typically, by the time I realize I’ve thought it, the damage is done. I thought I’d left the damage behind years ago. It was easier to move forward instead of taking the time and effort to repair it broken family relationships. But God has other plans.

As with restoration of all kinds, we never regain exactly what we had before. Instead, we repair, mend, and rebuild. Sometimes we add new parts to help the relationship function again, much the way we restore a beloved piece of furniture after years of neglect. It will never be new, but it can have more character, be stronger and more resilient. The table leg may be askew, but the top is level and will again bear some weight. It’s much the same when we work to restore relationships with others; we can again bear with one another.

Much like skipping the restoration process and simply shopping for new furniture, it’s very tempting to skip Lent and head right to Easter. The pretty budding trees, the Easter candy (already available in every grocery store,) bunnies and chicks, flowers, and Hallelujahs. Easter is calling, and it is coming!

But to get to Easter, first we should go into the wilderness with Jesus. We must face our sins and temptations. We really need to live with their weight and their consequences for a while, to contemplate everything that separates us from God. Lent brings us to our knees at the foot of the cross. It’s only there, at the cross, that we can truly experience the wonder & joy of Christ’s resurrection.

I encourage you to take a personal journey to the cross, Use daily readings and prayers, easily found in bookstores or online, to explore what it means to have a clean heart and have a right spirit restored within you.

 

Love Each Other Deeply

March 13th, 2014

Love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 PETER 4:8

King Solomon wisely wrote, “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”  A New Testament definition for love is that, “Love does not delight in evil . . . . It always protects.”

The story of Peter was one of the greatest failures of loving devotion in the Bible.  His most notorious moment of sin was when, after vowing that he would die for Jesus, he actually denied ever having known Him.  And he denied Him not just once but three times!  But God, in His mercy and grace, restored Peter so completely that he was given a prominent leadership position in the early church. Peter was responsible for opening the door of opportunity for the Gentiles to receive the gospel.  And Peter, who understood the shame of failure and the humiliation of sin, encouraged Christians to “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

His Sweet Exchange

March 11th, 2014

You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” With one voice they cried out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us! Luke 23:14-19

Like Barabbas, we sit on the floor of the our cell, waiting for the final moment. Head between our knees, we don’t look up as the executioner opens the door. We don’t lift our eyes as he begins to speak. We know what he is going to say. “Time to pay for your sins.” But then against all hope, we hear something else. “You’re free to go. They took Jesus instead of you.”

The door swings open, the guard barks, “Get out,” and we find ourselves in the light of the morning sun, our crimes pardoned, wondering, What just happened? Grace happened.

Christ took our sins to the top of Calvary, where he endured not just the nails of the Romans, the mockery of the crowd, and the spear of the soldier but the anger of God in our place.

God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us. (Romans 3:24-25)

God didn’t overlook our sins, if not He would have endorsed them. He didn’t punish us, otherwise He would have destroyed us. Instead God found a way to punish the sin and preserve the sinner. Jesus took our punishment, and gave us credit for Jesus’ perfection.

God made His Grace to shine upon us. Hallelujah!

Ren-Fest Fun

March 9th, 2014

Today I joined a friend for a bit of old world fun. We drove to Deerfield Beach to browse through the enchanted Ren-Fest Village filled with crafts from over one hundred merchants and artisans demonstrating and selling their wares. Visitors can behold glass blowing, hammered pewter, wooden toys, unique pottery, clothing and a wealth of other riches. Applaud hundreds of performers, not only on the twelve stages but literally all around the village. Sword fighters, minstrels, magicians, salty pirates, wenches and more! For all the world’s a stage. Cheer battling knights as they mount their steeds, lower their visors, aim their lances and charge at full tilt, thrice daily. Feast on hearty food fit for a king or visit the pub and toast to the Royal Court with a tankard of ale or cider. Hip! Hip! Huzzah! Or perchance you would rather play games of chance and skill which challenge both young and old alike. You can choose from archery, the test of strength, Jacob’s Ladder and more.

As I was entering the village I past Glass Harps, the Glass Music of Eric and Susan Scites. I wish I’d been able to get a good photo. The glass harp creates a relaxing experience of one of the truly unique instruments to come out of the Renaissance. The Glass Harp, or Ghost Fiddle, is truly an ethereal sound, sure to please even the grumpiest of trolls, ogres, teenagers and spouse! Believed to be at once a cursed instrument, and a blessed one, it was said to have to power to cure heartache of the love lorn! It worked on me for awhile.

For those who desire Equestrian enjoyment, they only needed to head for The Field of Dreams arena where Noble Cause Productions is a company specializing in jousting, stage combat instruction, fight choreography, and horse stunts. They are dedicated to providing the highest quality shows for audiences. Noble Cause is continually striving to reach new heights with breathtaking new show concepts. Best thought of as an intense equestrian 3-act play, each performance increases in dramatic intent as the day progresses.

Flight of the Raptor, my personal favorite show, was officially founded in 1995 by Ray Pena, Master Falconer, and continues today as the finest example of this ancient sport. They provide birds of prey in flight and demonstrations designed to educate, enlighten, and amaze their audiences.

A Ren-Fest visitor can also get ready to … Sit! Stay! Get ready to howl! Johnny Peers and his personality-plus canines will tickle your funny bone! Since their 1980 debut, the Muttville Comix have appeared on David Letterman, Primetime Live, Circus of the Stars, Disneyland, Busch Gardens, the Big Apple Circus, even The White House! It’s a show for the whole family and the dog lover in all of us. The show stars mostly dogs rescued from animal shelters or pounds. The 2003 Animal Planet Pet Star Winners called the show, “…a truly funny, slapstick dog act.” You don’t want to miss this show.

For the adults there is even an Rated-R show on the Great Hall stage. I caught the end of sisters Iris and Rose’s naughty, bawdy comedy singings show. Iris and Rose are definitely for adults only. Be prepared for comedy, singing, jokes, limericks, toasts and even a bit of juggling. I think some audience member laughed so hard they wet themselves. Iris and Rose are a sister duo that performs bawdy songs and suggestive verses at several different Renaissance Festivals around the country. To date they have five CD’s full of bawdy and just outright sometimes distasteful songs. Word of warning: The material is not for children.

The sisters were followed by equally irreverent Arthur Greenleaf Holmes, sixteenth century libertine and until recently, anonymous poet. Today, by some miracle of an enduring spirit that I didn’t spend too much time examining, Arthur brought his wildly inappropriate poetry to the Ren-Fest. Arthur presents a show that is extremely literate, entrancingly lyrical, breathtakingly scandalous and very, very funny. However, your ears will burn and you will pray you’re not found at his show for the second coming.

Lo’ and behold there were even pirates at this Ren-Fest! Port Royal Buccaneers is a group of performers who specialize in the Golden Age of Piracy period. How they fit into a Ren-Fest I don’t know, but it was fun. They perform a parade, black powder show, complete with several dozen guns (pistols, rifles, blunderbuss, flintlock and percussion) and cannons; as well as swordplay; songs and drama. Their goal is to promote interest in and education about the Golden Age of Piracy through entertainment and perform at shows, Pirate Festivals and Renaissance Fairs. The Port Royal Buccaneers emphasize black powder safety and education, in a fun and informative show.

Don’t forget the food! There are Promenade Fun Foods – Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Ribbon Fries, Blooming Onions, Ribbon Fires on a Stick, Hand Dipped Chocolate cheesecake and bananas, frozen lemonade, roasted nuts, soft- serve ice cream.

Quaker Confections – Pizza, Strudel, Sausage, peppers and onions on a bun. Fish & Chips, Scotch Eggs, Pasta

C&R Food Concessions – Greek food, Arepas, Smoothies.

Bobby Rodriguez Productions – Giant turkey legs, roasted corn, pretzels and pickles & lemonade

And Sir Munch-A-Lots – fried Oreos, snickers, PB&J, baked potatoes with toppings, garlic mushrooms.

*Look for photos under the Photo Pages

 

It Happened At The Cross

March 8th, 2014

You have cast all my sins behind Your back. Isaiah 38:17

We’ll never understand the extent of God’s love for us until we understand that we’ll never have to stand before the judgment of God for our sins.  All our sins were placed on Christ to take to the Cross. He took all the judgment we deserve. 

One morning while standing on the beach, I looked out over the oceans and saw one of the blackest clouds I had ever seen.  I was certain that we were in for a terrible storm.  I  decided I better not start a walk  and risk getting caught in it. I spoke to another beach goer about the storm.  He said, “Oh, we’ve already come through that storm.  It’s behind us.”

If we’re believers in Jesus Christ, we’ve already come through the storm of judgment.  It happened at the Cross.  Don’t be bound by your guilt or fears any longer, but realize that sin’s penalty has already been paid in full by Christ.

AMEN!

Is Ash Wednesday A Holy Day Obligation?

March 5th, 2014

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes. Job 42:5-6

After speaking with my co-workers about Shrove Tuesday & Ash Wednesday yesterday I quickly realized they weren’t familiar with this important time leading up to Christ’s resurrection, I decided to blog about the facts and misconceptions of Ash Wednesday. One of the biggest being that Ash Wednesday is a holy day of obligation. It’s suggested to observe, it’s very Holy and special, but not an obligation.

Maybe you’re wondering why some of the people around you on Wednesday have “dirt” crosses on their heads, it’s because of Ash Wednesday, the day that marks the start of the Lenten season, which lasts for 40 days until Holy Saturday. Lent is celebrated by Roman Catholics and some Christian denominations around the world. This ash serves as a reminder that we come from dust and to dust our bodies will return.

One of the ways to observe Ash Wednesday for many is fasting, or abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting is also used in times of deep prayer, but a challenge of mine.

When I talk about Ash Wednesday people immediately assume I must be Catholic. No, I’m Methodist. Many denominations including Anglicans, Lutherans and Methodists also participate in the day that starts the Lenten season. Eastern Orthodox churches have the great Lent, but start on ‘Clean Monday.’ While it doesn’t happen every year, this year Orthodox Easter and our Easter fall on the same day.

If you want to further research the meaning of ashes, the Christian Bible refers to ashes in multiple books. The practice of sprinkling of ashes can be traced back to the burning of palm branches being used for ashes starting in the 12th century.

Finally, the biggest barrier in most people’s mind is because they hear that people are obligated to give something up for Lent. Self-sacrifice isn’t a popular concept in our culture. While it’s encouraged by some denominations to sacrifice something for Lent, it’s NOT an obligation.

I hope this has cleared up some misunderstanding and made it easier for you to be open to our loving God during this Holy season.

 

 

 

Exploring My City of West Palm Beach

March 2nd, 2014

Today I decided to spend time with a friend on an Urban Quest of West Palm Beach. It was a fun exploration of all the nooks and crannies of this unique downtown area.

We began our architectural scavenger hunt at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. The library began as the West Palm Beach Reading Room in the Congregational Church in 1894. Soon after, Commodore C.J. Clarke, a Palm Beach yachtsman, donated a houseboat to the Palm Beach Literary Society. The collection from the Reading Room and a $100 donation from Henry Flagler created the first city library. The houseboat was anchored at a dock off of the city park where Clematis Street terminates. Residents were encouraged to visit the Reading Room instead of wasting time drinking on Banyan Street. After relocating to many locations over the years, the library was moved to it’s new location at City Center. In 2012 the Mandel Foundation awarded $5 million grant to transform West Palm Beach Public Library into world-class institution and encourage support for public libraries and renamed the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach.

In the same City Center complex is West Palm Beach’s City Hall. Built in 2009, the new, 150,000 sq.ft. City Hall is defined by dramatic architecture and being energy efficient.

A few blocks away, at the Palm Beach County Courthouse lay 240+ tons of carved Grey Cloud granite barriers on both sides of the plaza. The granite is a light shade of grey, speckled with black and white flecks to suggest the flexibility of a legal system with “grey areas” best serves a free society. Inscribed on each of the granite blocks is a historic quote regarding liberty, justice or democracy.

After various efforts to save the historic courthouse from demolition, the Board of County Commissioners voted in April 2002 to preserve and share the building with the public, thereby committing to restore the building to its original neoclassical grandeur. Located across the street from the current Palm Beach County Courthouse, the historic building celebrated the grand opening of the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County Museum, the county’s first history museum in 2008.

Trivia Time: Did you know in 1878, a ship loaded with 20,000 coconuts came ashore during a storm. Settlers decided to plant the coconuts and create a crop. The groves of coconut palms are the reason why it’s called Palm Beach County today!

A block away from the historic courthouse, on N Olive Avenue, is the Historic St. Ann Catholic Church. This historic church was dedicated March 15, 1896, on the SE corner of Rosemary and Datura Streets. In 1902, it was moved to its current location which was donated by Henry M. Flagler and served the Catholic Community until 1913. When the new church was dedicated, the old church was then used as the forerunner of St. Ann School which was built in 1925. St. Ann Church is the oldest Catholic Church and parish in the Diocese of Palm Beach.

Located near the waterfront, is Centennial Square which houses the Centennial Fountain which can accommodate up to 100 people! There are also plenty of benches, tables and chairs, as well as a popular Green Market held in the park on Saturdays.

It’s a short stroll through the park down to the waterfront and public docks. The middle dock is the main pedestrian dock, and offers the perfect spot for families taking a walk, business people looking for a tranquil spot to enjoy lunch or visitors soaking in the downtown & yacht scenery. It features unique education plaques about the underwater ecosystems, planters with native plants, shaded seating areas for the public and day docking for boaters.

South of the city docks is the waterfront amphitheater. The Meyer Amphitheater boasts a 10,000 square foot band shell and hosts special events throughout the year. There’s a grass lawn to sit and picnic, benches, tables, a walking path, bathrooms, and a tree-lined knoll from which to look into the park or out to the intracoastal while attending an event. They were cleaning up after yesterday’s Autism Speaks event when I walked through today.

The last stop on this quest was the First Presbyterian Church of West Palm Beach, founded in 1922. A devastating storm on September 16, 1928, demolished the church structure. This was followed with a decrease in membership from 402 members to 275 due to extreme financial losses by members in the 1928 storm and the beginning of the Depression. The present Sanctuary building at the corner of South Olive Avenue and Evernia Street was originally built to house the Central Farmer’s Trust Company Bank.

I hope this narrative and the photos encourage you to get out and explore your city! To see my photos click here: http://emiling.com/photos/west-palm-beach/

 

 

 

Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.